Biases against minorities and women still exist in the investment management industry, according to a study commissioned by the $140 billion California State Teachers' Retirement System, Sacramento.
Two out of three women and minorities who responding to the survey said gender or minority status hurt their careers. However, the remaining third felt that being women or minorities helped their careers. The study also found that structural and cultural issues prevent diversity from being embraced more tightly within the industry.
In comments cited by the study, some respondents said that gender and ethnicity "are no longer germane factors" and that "emphasizing diversity in fiscal or economic decisions is a waste of time." Others commented that women and minorities have to worker harder to succeed in money management because of negative perceptions, and, as a result, "often give better quality service."
Of the more than 200 who voluntarily responded to a 31-question survey online, 46% were women and 44% were minorities. The survey, which was co-sponsored by Leading Edge Investment Advisors and Anira Advisory Group, did not say if those categories overlapped. In addition, 42% of respondents worked for plan sponsors, predominantly public pension funds, while 48% worked for money managers. The remaining 10% worked for investment consultants, brokers or others. Forty-five percent of respondents worked on the West Coast or in Hawaii.
The survey is part of a multiyear study of attitudes toward diversity in the money management industry.